8 Best Exercise Tips for Boomers

January 30, 2011 by  
Filed under health

I’m always looking in newspaper and magazine articles for good tips from experts to keep us healthy.

Here are 8 insider tips from nationally known personal trainers, coaches and exercise physiologists to help us get a little more oomph!

1) The minimum workout you need to stay healthy
Muscle strengthening exercises twice a week plus 2 1/2 hours a week of moderate activity like walking. Or 75 minutes a week of a more intense activity like jogging. Please ask your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

2) Get fitter faster
A more intense workout burns more calories in less time, says Pamela Peeke, M.D., author of Fit to Live. “You can walk 3.1 mile race in 40 minutes, jog it in 30 minutes or run it in under 20 minutes. Either way, you’re burning the same amount of calories,” she says.

3) Short spurts are best
Alternate spurts of hard, high-speed activity with periods of slower activity to shorten a workout while improving fitness, says Ron Woods, a coach at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando Florida.
4) Stronger muscles in minutes
We lose muscle mass as we age, making us weaker. Two or three 30-minute weekly sessions using free weights or resistance bands will restore muscle and keep bones strong, says David Sandler, author of Fundamental Weight Training.

5) Upper and lower body moves
Alternating an upper body strength training exercise with a lower-body move is a time saver, says Gina Lombardi, author of Deadline Fitness, who has trained celebrities such as Andy Garcia. Alternate cardio moves, like rope jumping, with strength exercises such as lunges.

6) Say yes to yoga
A few minutes of yoga type stretches after a workout improves flexibility, range of motion and strength in a way that aerobic activities can’t, says Beryl Bender Birch, author of Boomer Yoga. An introductory class is best for beginners, since regular classes often last 90 minutes.

7) Buddy up
Exercising with others makes time fly. Dodo Stevens, 67, of Portland, Maine, meets 10 women and a trainer for a 45 minutes workout at a neighbor’s house. Cost: $11 per person. “I love working out with other people, “she says. “The whole thing is over before you know it.”
8) Mix it up
Exercise programs need variety. This is key. If you do the same thing all the time, your body adapts and you stop making progress, says Pamula Peeke, the fitness author. Look for classes that provide an introduction to Zumba, Bellyrobics or other new, fun activities.

Keep in mind what James Fries, M.D., said about exercise. He is an expert on aging at Stanford University. He says “If you had to pick one thing that came closest to the fountain of youth, it would have to be exercise.”

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